After finishing a recent lesson I watched a gentleman hit 2 full baskets of balls in roughly 20 minutes. I was amazed at the speed which he got through over 150 golf balls. The man was actually sweating and slightly out of breath. I asked the gentleman what was he trying to achieve during this practice session? His response was a familiar one, he played poorly last weekend and wanted to sort it out before the following weekend (looking for that miracle quick fix). I then asked him did he now feel good for the upcoming weekend? He thought for a second and with a very worried expression he looked me in the eye and said, “I have no idea what will happen this weekend, my shots went left and right today, I’m actually a little worried about how I’ll play”.
This is a familiar story with many players. The act of just pounding golf balls will not do anything for your game without a structure behind it. We all have a dream which we would love to achieve but without a structured process that dream will always be somewhere fair away in the clouds.
To begin on the road to playing better, you need to get smarter with your practice. Ask yourself the following questions before you go any further.
• where is my game at right now?
• where do I really want it to be?
• how can I get it to that point?
• what is the first goal I can set myself to begin achieving my dream?
To begin the process of achieving your goals and making practice constructive you need to first focus on profiling your Proformance. Once this is done you will know what areas need improvement to achieve your first goal on the road to your dream. The next question you need to ask yourself is, I know where my game is at, I have my first goal, how do I achieve it? At this point you need to look at your practice and the type of practice which is required. Keep following the process below to achieve each goal on the path to achieving your dream.
– Proformance Profile > Goal > Correct Practice
Smarter practice means reducing the quantity and turning up the in intensity of each session. In golf we have 3 types of practice,
• Block Practice
• Variable Practice
• Random Practice
Block practice is all about the hitting of golf balls when working on a specific swing change, as written about by experts it takes up to 10000 repetitions to make a change permanent. This is the type of practice that should be done during the off session under the guidance of your swing coach.
Variable practice should follow the block practice. Variable practice is all about adding your mental and physical routine to the practice. At this stage you should also introduce practicing different types of shot, high, low, fades, draws etc. At this point you are practicing and understanding what the club and ball are doing.
The third type of practice, random practice is probably the most fun. It’s all about bringing the new swing or movement to the course and just playing with it. During random practice you are very much focused on the target.
I hope this blog helps you understand the process involved in smart practice and not just hitting balls for the sake of it.
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Variable practice is the follow up